The staff of the University System of Georgia told the board Tuesday about the plan. The board will vote on the formal transfer at its January meeting.
The move is part of Chancellor Hank Huckaby's efforts to streamline operations, a strategy that also led to the merger of eight universities across the state into four.
The General Assembly chartered the institute in 1967 after millionaire Robert Roebling donated the land to the state, and it operated as a stand-alone institution for four years before coming under the control of the University Stem. Skidaway is unique in the system where all of the other institutions are colleges or universities.
"I think the desire here is to align the marine interests that we have on the coast at Skidaway and the marine interests that the University of Georgia has, not only in Athens but in other places around the coast," said James Sanders, Skidaway's director.
UGA already conducts some research there, as do other schools like Georgia Tech and Savannah State University. UGA has a staff of about 20 there that provides classes for as many as 18,000 students from elementary to high school there each year.
UGA also has a site on Sapelo Island for site-based research and instruction of undergraduate and graduate college students in its marine program.
Sanders said the only noticeable change will be the color of the signs from blue to red and black.
"In the short term, I don't see that it makes that big of a difference," he said. "But the hope is that anytime you take two groups of medium size and start combining them, you gain some efficiencies of scale and maybe find some synergies and some new areas where the two groups can compliment one another."
Also at Tuesday's meeting, Huckaby recognized the crew of Skidaway's Research Vessel Savannah for winning the University System's customer-service award for a team. Michael Richter leads the four-man crew.